RESIDENTS are fighting proposals by a food store to build a large totem-style sign advertising its wares.

Midcounties Co-op is rejuvenating the former King of Prussia pub, in Rose Hill, which was destroyed by fire in 2006.

It has submitted a planning application for fascia signs for the new shop and a totem-style illuminated sign outside.

But residents say the sign is too tall and will dominate the area.

They also fear the illuminated sign will cause light pollution as the store will be open from 7am to 11pm, and say it is not appropriate for a residential area.

Six Oxford city councillors have called in the application, which is due to be decided at council’s east area planning committee on Wednesday.

Officers have recommended the fascia signs are approved, but the totem sign be refused planning permission.

Mike Knibbs, of Rose Hill, said: “It’s these things that stick out in front of the actual building. We have it with Humphris across the road. They all look obtrusive and out of place. If the Co-op get theirs, where will it stop?”

Mr Knibbs welcomed the Co-op redeveloping the site. He said: “It’s better than the derelict pub that was there. The Co-op is a thriving business.”

Neighbour Christina Nixon said the totem sign would “clutter” the street.

She said: “The building is massive, no-one is going to miss it. I can’t see the value of it. The only people who are going to be annoyed by it are the people who live here. In the street scene it is not really appropriate.”

Littlemore councillor John Tanner, one of the councillors who ‘called in’ the application forcing it to be decided by the committee rather than an officer, said: “We wanted to give the opportunity to local residents to have their say about what could be a controversial sign.

“We certainly want the Co-op to advertise and are delighted the store is opening soon, but we don’t want the sign too big or too brash that overpowers the local parade of shops.”

Midcounties Co-op has owned the land since August 2005 and has submitted a number of planning applications for its development.

The scheme, approved in September 2009, includes a two-storey building with a shop on the ground floor, offices above and parking space for 23 cars.

The existing Co-op will move into the new building. Midcounties Co-op was unavailable for comment about when the new store would open.